How to Style a Chic Summer Patio

summer patio style

Summer might feel like it’s flying by, but we’re here to remind you that (whew) there’s still just over two months to go until the official first day of fall on September 22. So why not make the most of what’s left of the season by making your outdoor space a place to relax, entertain, and enjoy the good weather while we’ve got it? Whether you’re working with a backyard, a roofdeck, or a balcony, these tips from Caiti Smithe Jisa of Walter E. Smithe will help make it happen.

Make it Friend-Friendly

Before you purchase your outdoor furniture, think about how you entertain. “If you prefer large gatherings with everyone on the block, then it’s probably best to maximize seating,” says Smithe-Jisa. “Outdoor sectionals are wonderful for this.” If you prefer more intimate gatherings (or have a smaller outdoor space), “a circular set up with four chairs centered around a cocktail table or fire pit might be more up your speed.” If you are limited on space and think you’d rather use your patio for “living room” style furniture, consider at the very least sneaking a small bistro table for two into a corner to have a place to enjoy a bite to eat on a warm summer night.

Take a cue from indoors. 

“Like the indoors, the outdoors need some styling, too,” says Smithe Jisa. A few of her go-tos: lanterns, potted plants and flowers in cool planters, garden stools, statues, throw pillows, and hanging globe lights. “Just be certain that you are using outdoor friendly accessories that can handle the elements,” she says. When it comes to choosing a design direction, let your indoor style be the guide. “It’s best to continue the style you have in your home outside. So whether your home be traditional, modern, or eclectic, look to transcend that style outside.”

Consider Winter. 

Sounds like strange advice, but Smithe-Jisa says its key to think about winter while you’re choosing your outdoor furniture, especially if you live within city limits. The reason: because if you lack the storage space to house outdoor furniture inside as temps fall, it’ll have to weather Chicago winters in place. “Your furniture will be exposed to the elements, and lower quality outdoor furniture simply won’t last,” she says. “Spending a little more for quality will ensure you many more years of use.